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Acute NHS Trust with multiple hospital locations

The Client

An Acute NHS Trust split across 4 hospital locations.

 

The Project

 This NHS Trust depends upon an on-premise paging solution to support both crash and emergency paging alongside being used for more routine staff location and messaging purposes. Their solution was becoming outdated and increasingly unreliable alongside increasing costs to replace handsets which were regularly being misplaced or broken. The NHS Trust decided to commission a review into both the capability and robustness of the current pager solution and into the potential of providing an enhanced messaging solution for some or all staff. 4C Strategies were retained to undertake the required study.

 

How 4C Strategies helped

 The overall objective of the assignment was to formulate a messaging strategy for staff.  In particular, The NHS Trust wished to retain their pager system for emergency use but lower the cost associated with the current system as well as lowering the number of users depending on this system for non-critical communication. In conjunction, they wished to introduce a user-friendly system whereby staff could communicate and collaborate. 4C Strategies were tasked two-fold. Firstly, with looking at what could be done in the short term to improve the legacy pager system and secondly to investigate a cloud-based solution which would provide phone and messaging options for mobile staff to allow them to communicate for internal non-emergency purposes.

To begin with, 4C Strategies interviewed the consulting IT staff responsible for the provision of IT services including paging and messaging, to find out their thoughts and gain insight on the workings of the current system.

4C Strategies also held a number of discussions with doctors, nurses and administration staff to find out the different work styles and ways in which these could be more effectively addressed than the current arrangement was delivering.

This valuable insight enabled 4C Strategies to put together a strategy and recommendations report which studied in detail how the current system could be flexed to work whilst considering the operational needs of all staff.

 

Outcome and benefits

 4C Strategies found that the current solution broadly met the functional requirements for crash and emergency.  However, the current level of reliability and vendor support provided was not proportional to a critical service such as this. It was found that the current solution met the minimum requirements only for other (non-crash) messaging requirements. It did not meet the identified and emerging requirements for corporate messaging that can be audited and administered centrally and users were resorting to the use of non-approved communication methods such as WhatsApp and SMS.

Therefore, 4C Strategies recommendation was that the NHS Trust should:

  • Continue to use the current system for crash and emergency paging in the short to medium term.
  • Introduce a purpose designed messaging solution based upon a smartphone app for non-emergency paging.
  • Over the longer term, once the solution was proven to be sufficiently robust, crash and emergency paging would be migrated to the messaging solution.

 

Further information

4C Strategies are an independent consultancy specialising in assisting NHS organisations with communications related projects. If this case study is relevant to you and you would like to speak to us further concerning your requirements, please call us on 01858 438938 and we will be happy to advise you or to arrange a formal consultation. Alternatively, you can email nhs@4c.co.uk.

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Acute NHS Trust with multiple hospital locations

WHAT DO OUR CLIENTS SAY?
Ulster University
Donna O'Kane

“Dave very quickly gained a solid understanding of our requirements, some of which are unique due to history and geography in Northern Ireland. He brought an unsurpassed level of market and technical knowledge relating to unified communications and demonstrated a unique ability to balance any business or technical challenges that arose as the project progressed. Dave worked as a genuine member of our team forming strong working relationships with, and most importantly gaining the trust of, all of our stakeholders, ranging from telecommunications staff, through senior academics, to our board directors.”

Cambridgeshire County Council
Sue Grace, Director Corporate and Customer Services

"4C became a valuable member of our project team by producing high quality documentation, helping us to understand the UK marketplace and playing a full and proactive role in the evaluation. The 4C procurement ‘tool-set’ fully captured our requirements and allowed the suppliers to clearly articulate their proposals at all stages of the Competitive Dialogue. If you have a need for an independent ICT consultancy we would have no hesitation in recommending 4C Strategies."

University of Oxford
Stuart Lee, Deputy Chief Information Officer
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust
Steve Mattern, Associate Director of IM&T

“The project to replace the telephone systems in our three hospitals was always going to be a major challenge for the Trust. We retained 4C to help us to develop our strategy, go out to procurement and transition to the new solution in one coordinated step at all three sites.

West London Mental Health Trust
Trevor Nelms, Director of Business Technology

"4C Strategies has assisted in a range of complex ICT projects, from inception through to deployment, and demonstrate a rare ability to bring together technical expertise with business acumen and tight project management skills"

University of Edinburgh
Tony Weir, Director of IT Infrastructure

"We chose 4C as a strategic partner to help the University manage a large-scale project to modernise the University’s telephony service.  This project involved full upgrade to the University’s VoIP infrastructure and migrating over 5,000 analogue extensions to the new system.  4C where chosen for their expert skills in telephony, the quality of their strategic advice and their ability to manage a business-critical project, all of which have proved invaluable in assisting the University to deliver a successful project."

University of Westminster
Thierry Delaitre, Head of FST Technical Services Department

"4C has played a key role in defining and delivering this important Mobile Learning project for the Faculty of Science and Technology. Their technical skills, relationship with the wider University, sector knowledge and project & change management skills have significantly contributed to the success of this project and its transition to Business As Usual"

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